AUWCL Welcomes Outstanding, Diverse Group of Incoming 1L Students for the 2020-21 Academic Year

Sept. 14, 2020

AUWCL campus, Capital Hall
AUWCL campus, Capital Hall

American University Washington College of Law is pleased to welcome a talented and diverse group of over 350 1L students to the law school community for the 2020-21 academic year.

The incoming JD students bring with them a number of impressive work and volunteer experiences as well as academic achievements from previous institutions. With diversity representation of 40% and a female student population of 68%, the incoming 1Ls reflect the nation, our world, and AUWCL's commitment to inclusive excellence.

"We are delighted to welcome a new group of bright and talented students to AUWCL. these students, with their diverse background and lived experiences, underscore our efforts of ensuring and celebrating the way in which the AUWCL community mirrors the world around us," said Acting Dean Robert Dinerstein. "Though we find ourselves at an extraordinary and unprecedented time in history, I know that our dedicated scholar-teachers and committed staff will provide our incoming students and the support and guidance they need to champion what matters as they begin their legal journey."

The AUWCL 1L student population has increased in both female students and students of color compared to last year, with 56 Hispanic/Latino students, 43 Black/African American students, 40 Asian/Pacific Islander students, and 5 Native American students. Comprised of 68% women, the JD incoming class boasts the largest percentage of female students in nearly 20 years.  

The incoming JD students hail from 38 states and the District of the Columbia, as well as 15 international countries – Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Ecuador, Ethiopia, France, South Korea, Nigeria, Norway, and United Kingdom. Forty-six percent of the class speaks a foreign language.

A Range of Experiences

The class represents 187 undergraduate institutions, with 116 students having graduated with honors; 34 holding master’s degrees, while four have PhDs. Thirteen members of the incoming class have served in the military, 54 interned or worked as staff on Capitol Hill, six participated in AmeriCorps or Teach for America, and three were Peace Corps volunteers.

This year, AUWCL welcomed JD students with a series of virtual orientation activities over seven weeks, including 19 synchronous and 11 asynchronous sessions; 26 faculty, 35 staff, 32 upper-level student participants; 13 departments; and a number of special guest speakers. AUWCL’s annual “In My Back Yard” (IMBY) Public Service Day also went virtual this year, with over 130 1Ls and other members of the AUWCL community volunteering their time for organizations in and  around Washington, DC August 10-14.

Also joining our community this 2020-21 school year are 57 LL.M. students and 3 SJD candidates.

Of the incoming JD students, as of Aug. 26:

  • Their average age is 24
  • They were born in 28 different countries
  • 30% studied abroad in more than 37 foreign countries
  • They speak 39 different foreign languages